21NTC Session

There’s a First Time for Everything… Launching a Development Department


Even if it’s just the hire of one person, launching a development department is a major milestone for a nonprofit. Yet many organizations rush this crucial moment, hiring quickly and all too soon feeling the pain of poor planning. This often results in many false starts and much time wasted before fundraising finally becomes stable. But it can be easier.

In this panel, you’ll hear the experiences of two organizations that successfully built their fundraising team from the ground-up on the first try. From deciding what level to hire for, to figuring out CRM and other technology options, to managing the broad culture change that must happen, there’s an incredible amount of preparation and planning that is worth unpacking prior to posting a position for hire. You only get one first chance, and our goal is that in that first opportunity to build your team, your organization gets it right.

Session Type

60 minute session

Learning Outcomes

  • Demystify the fundraising team-building process and its implications for the rest of your organization and budget
  • Understand how to correctly scope your first development hire for your organization’s budget, needs, and current performance
  • Take home a checklist of how to ensure your hiring process promotes a smooth transition into fundraising’s daily work

Target Audience

Executive Directors, Development Directors, Board Members, Founders


Change ManagementProcessStaffing


Loree Lipstein


Thread Strategies

Loree Lipstein is Founder and Principal Consultant of Thread Strategies, a firm that helps small and medium-sized nonprofits build sustainable development departments by focusing on strategy, operations, and staffing. In this role, Loree has worked with more than 40 nonprofits across the country to build development capacity. An innovative and entrepreneurial leader, Loree brings two decades of experience in the nonprofit field to her work. Prior to founding Thread, Loree earned a Master’s of Business Administration at The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, where she was a CASE Scholar focusing on social entrepreneurship and social impact. Before earning her graduate degree, Loree worked for the national nonprofit KaBOOM! as Manager of Corporate Partnerships, where she was responsible for securing and managing partnerships with Fortune 500 companies and large philanthropic foundations. Loree also worked as a Senior Campaign Manager at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s National Capital Area chapter, where she focused on special events and grassroots fundraising.

When Loree isn’t traveling around the globe (international travel is a passion), she resides in Washington, DC where she enjoys running, photography and spending time with friends and family.

Suling Miller

Deputy Director for Development

Reach Incorporated

Suling is the Deputy Director for Development at Reach Incorporated, a literacy nonprofit in Washington, DC. In this role, she is responsible for the development and implementation of Reach’s short and long-term fundraising strategies. Prior to joining Reach, Suling worked at the National Kidney Foundation, where she focused on special events and peer-to-peer fundraising. She also served as the Director of Corporate Relations at HandsOn Bay Area, where she built partnerships with fifty of the Bay Area’s top companies.

Originally from Southern California, Suling is a proud graduate of Wellesley College. In her spare time, she likes to read, paint, and play with her two adorable tuxedo cats.

Kevin Hinton

CEO/Executive Director

Beacon House, Washington, DC

Kevin Hinton is CEO/Executive Director of Beacon House, an afterschool education and youth development nonprofit organization which serves children and families in Northeast Washington, DC. Beacon House’s Board of Directors appointed Kevin as CEO/Executive Director in February 2017 after he served successfully for five months as Interim Executive Director. Kevin possesses more than 25 years of professional experience in strategic leadership, partnership building, financial management, and team leadership in both the for-profit and the not-for-profit sectors. He holds an MBA degree from NYU-Stern School of Business and a BA degree from Williams College. He is also a graduate of Little Rock Central High School, site of the 1957 desegregation crisis in Little Rock, Arkansas. In December 2019, Kevin participated in the 2019 Converge Academy, a leadership academy for social purpose leaders hosted by American Express, the Center for Creative Leadership, and LeaderStories. Kevin was one of 24 participants, selected from nearly 150 applicants from across the United States.



March 23, 2021


9:45am – 10:45am